Local and state police, the DEA, Customs and Border Patrol agents and the U.S. Coast Guard are on the front lines of the war on drugs. These agencies seize illegal drugs that were intended to be sold on this nation’s streets. And our drug warriors are not just fighting the illegal drug distributors but are also confronted by a ‘fifth column’ in our country.
Liberals have been declaring that we are fighting a failed war on drugs. It is true that the Mexican drug cartels have been successfully smuggling heroin, cocaine, meth and marijuana across the border and even control their distribution in a number of our cities. It is also true that heroin and fentanyl have bee coming into this country on container ships from China. But to claim that the war on drugs is a failed war is a lie. If our law enforcement agencies were not making narcotic seizures, there would be tons more of illegal drugs available on the streets.
The problem in this country is that we are fighting a two-front war on drugs. On one front we are fighting the distributors of illegal drugs. On the other front we are fighting a ‘fifth column’ consisting of liberals with their soft-on-drugs approach and groups like the ‘National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ (NORML).
Before the Vietnam War there was no fifth column. Most illegal drug use occurred among poor blacks and Mexican- Americans. Whites were not the least bit concerned about the arrest of minorities for possession of pot and other drugs. But all that changed with the anti-war movement and counter culture revolution of white youths from the middle and upper class. When kids from good white families were being thrown in jail for illegal drug possession, their parents squealed like stuck pigs about their clean-cut kids being imprisoned.
A two-front war is difficult to fight. Just ask the surviving Germans about fighting the Russians on the eastern front and the Allies on the western front, both at the same time.
And then there is the problem of who we are not fighting … the users of illegal drugs. The Law of Supply and Demand tells us that when there is no demand for a product, it will no longer be produced. The insatiable hunger of Americans for illegal drugs keeps the Mexican drug cartels and other distributors of illegal drugs busy meeting that demand.
Compared to us, Asian countries fight the War on Drugs not only against those who manufacture and distribute them, but also against the users of drugs. In Japan drug users are imprisoned if caught, including those who use marijuana, the possession of cannabis for personal use carrying a maximum prison sentence of five years. In China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, drug users are imprisoned and drug dealers or those found in possession of large quantities are executed.
According to Human Rights Watch, since taking office on June 30, 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has carried out a war on drugs that has led to the deaths of over 12,000 Filipinos. In July of last year, Duterte told the Philippine Congress: “Let me begin by putting it bluntly. The war against illegal drugs is far from over. It will be as relentless and chilling as on the day it began.”
Illegal drug use in those Asian countries is not nearly as bad as it is in the United States because the police go after the users who are severely punished when caught. That acts as a serious deterrent to illegal drug use.
Now let’s take a look at some significant victories in our war against drugs.
In December 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy seized 26.5 tons of cocaine worth $2 billion and in November 2018, the Cost Guard seized 18.5 tons of cocaine worth $500 million.
In November 2017, Colombian police seized more than 12 tons of cocaine worth $360 million.
In August 2018, Mexican Marines raided an underground drug lab in Sinaloa and seized 50 tons of meth worth $7.5 billion.
In January, around 1.7 tons (3,800 pounds) of meth worth nearly $1 billion was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port. The meth, as well as 55 pounds of cocaine and about 11 pounds of heroin which were also seized, were bound for Australia.
In January, the Mexican Navy intercepted a speedboat off the Sinaloa coast from which they seized more than 1,300 pounds (630 kilograms) of cocaine. Of the 15 crew members taken into custody, eight were from Ecuador, four were Colombian and three were Mexican.
In February the U.S. Coast guard offloaded 17 tons of cocaine seized by six Coast Guard cutters from 21 different smuggling vessels in the Pacific off the coasts of Mexico and Central and South America. The 17 tons was worth an estimated $466 million wholesale.
In the last few days alone, the #ArizonaBorderStrikeForce has made a series of major drug seizures:
Sept 8 → 52 lbs of meth
Sept 12 → 123 lbs of meth
Sept 13 → 50 lbs of meth + 1 lb of fentanyl pic.twitter.com/sRmYumwJyi
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) September 17, 2018
On February 28, authorities seized about 1.6 tons of cocaine from a shipping container in the port at Newark, N.J. The seizure resulted from a joint investigation by U.S. Customs, the U.S. Coast Guard, Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York Police Department and the New York State Police. The coke had an estimated street value of $77 million.
On March 2, the DEA seized more than 20 kilos of fentanyl and 5 kilos of heroin from a truck at a New Jersey highway rest stop. That amount of fentanyl was enough to kill more than the entire population of NJ. The next day, LAPD seized more than 100 pounds of meth worth about $1 million at a South Los Angeles motel. Two children, ages 8 and 10, had been left alone with the meth.
I’ve called attention to these seizures to show that the war on drugs is not a failed war. The seized drugs, and the drugs in many more seizures too numerous to mention here, would have been sold on the streets of America.
Our soft approach to the use of drugs and the legalization of marijuana for recreational use have made it harder for us to fight the war on drugs.
Make no mistake about it; the war on drugs is protecting our society. Because we are winning many battles in this war, tons of illegal drugs are being kept off of our streets.